Passaic Fish Weir Complex

Video documentation of one of the remnants of a fish weir that remains intact on the Passaic River. Courtesy of the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute.

Do you know about one of the oldest human-made structures in the New York-Newark metropolitan area?

Built by the Lunaapeew/Lunaape/Lenape people, the Passaic Fish Weir Complex was a series of at least sixteen low dams that once stretched over the lower twenty miles of the Passaic River to trap large quantities of shad fish. The weirs were in active use for millenia as well as through the early colonial time period. Many of road networks in present-day New Jersey are a result of the robust human activities surrounding the weir complex. While only one of the original sixteen weirs remains intact, these significant structures speak to the abundant Indigenous community life in the estuarial region.

PHP is currently developing an interactive map to bring forth the archaeological, linguistic, historical and ecological significance of this site.

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Animation created by Alexandre Girardeau / HWY101ETC
This work-in-progress animation digitally reconstructs one of weirs in the Passaic Fish Weir Complex.